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Mrs. WILSON. We do.
Senator Cain. Are willing to pay for them. I think that is a very healthy point of view.
Mr. BATEs. Mrs. Wilson, have you any criticism to offer as to the present administration of the District from the standpoint of efficiency and economy, extravagance or otherwise!
Mrs. Wilson. Our organization is one of housewives, not of experts in money matters. We have concerned ourselves with the policy of the organization, but we have no adequate opinion as to the question of expenses
Mr. BATES. Well, it was brought out in testimony last week, having in mind whom you represent, the housewives, and so forth, that collection of garbage and trash was twice a week, and is now once a week. Is that meeting now with quite general approval by the housewives of the District?
Mrs. Wilson. I think I can speak only for myself, and for myself, we are receiving a collection twice a week.
Mr. Bates. That is twice of trash or garbage?
Mr. BATES. I understood the Department head to say that it had been cut down to one collection a week.
Mrs. Wilson. Up to this point, speaking again only for myself, I would shay the service has been satisfactory.
Mr. Bates. During the summer I presume that twice a week would be necessary. I questioned very much whether it was necessary during the fall, spring, and winter of the year. I think that is where a good deal of saving can be made, if proper care is exercised in taking care of the garbage itself.
Mrs. Wilson. Again, speaking just for myself from my personal experience, I think that probably when the garbage and trash removal come down
Mr. BATES. You have trash collections twice a week, too, or just garbage?
Mrs. Wilson. No, just garbage.
Mr. BATEs. You have no criticism of the efficiency of the administration?
Mr. Wilson. No.
Senator MCGRATH. Mrs. Wilson, I understand the name of your organization is the Washington League of Voteless Women Voters.
Mrs. Wilson. The Voteless District of Columbia League of Women Voters. We aspire to vote.
Mr. BATEs. That is all, Mr. Chairman, of Mrs. Wilson.
I wonder, Mr. Chairman, the time is getting short, and I would like to know whether or not we have any witnesses here who can just give us some information about the efficiency of thi. Distri government.
Senator CAIN. We might pose the question.
Mr. Bates. We are anxious, of course, to hear everybody in regard to the support or opposition of any of the proposed tax suggestions, but I think that ought to be deferred until after we hear the presentation of evidence in support of the bills by the Commissioners.
What we are trying to do is to find out in what way the administration is being carried on here. Are there any criticisms, can we tighten up the expenses somewhere along the line, are there extravagant methods employed here?
Senator Cain. Will you give your name to the reporter, please.
STATEMENT OF MRS. LESLIE WRIGHT, CHAIRMAN OF THE LEGIS
LATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS, WASHINGTON, D. C. Mrs. Wright. My name is Mrs. Leslie Wright, and I represent the Federation of Women's Clubs, but we will endeavor to talk about taxes,
Senator Cain. May I ask if you have an official title within your organization?
Mrs. WRIGHT. I am chairman of the legislative committee for the Federation of Women's Clubs, District of Columbia Federation of Women's Clubs, and we are for the sales tax.
Senator Cain. Indeed.
Mrs. WRIGHT. And we represent 6,500 housewives. We have meetings of our legislative committee, and we have council meetings, and executive board meetings, and I have never at any of these meetings heard any criticism whatsoever of our District government. We have been very well satisfied with it.
We feel, of course, if they had a little more money, just as the housewife, if she could get a bit more money from her husband, she could use it.
Mr. BATEs. Not necessarily the vote but more money.
Mrs. WRIGHT. I will tell you, Mr. Bates, I have a vote with my husband, but I am a District resident.
Mr. Bates. Oh, that is all right. Mrs. WRIGHT. I can say this Mr. BATES. I can understand why you do not want to vote in the District of Columbia.
Mrs. WRIGHT. I would like to say this: This is no criticism of you because I do not think you have ever been in the State House, as far as I know, but I get a great deal more courtesy in the District building than in the State House.
Mr. BATES. We will have to change that.
Mrs. WRIGHT. For instance, they put a gasoline station near my husband's home up there. His folks have lived there for 250 years. I could not stop it. We telephoned and telegraphed because we could not get up there because my son was graduating from Annapolis that day.
In the District they were taking down a historic old tree which showed the encampment of the Civil War veterans, and which was one of the oldest trees in the District, and I could not do anything with the people who were taking it down, but I called Capitol Hill and the District Commissioners and they ordered the tree left there. That shows the efficiency of the District government.
Mr. Bates. What we are trying to find out is inefliciency.
Mrs. WRIGHT. I never found any inefficiency in the District government because, as I say, we have always gotten courtesy.
Mr. BATEs. That is fine.
Mrs. Wright. In my own small way, I am very well satisfied, and I have never heard anything criticized. Now, in these garbage collections, we have it three times, and the only criticism I have heard is when a holiday comes along, such as Christmas, if it comes on a Thursday, or Thanksgiving comes along, and if it happens to be the day when garbage should be collected, they do not call for it. They collect it three times a week otherwise.
Mr. BATEs. I am going to ask you a personal question. You think you need more money in the District ? Mrs. WRIGHT. Yes. Mr. Bates. Where do you pay your income tax? Mrs. Wright. We pay our income tax in the District of Columbia
husband feels that we live here a great part of the year, and we should; we pay real estate taxes in Massachusetts, and a poll tax in Massachusetts.
Mr. BATEs. Then you also pay an income tax in Massachusetts.
Mrs. Wright. He attends to the tax. I pay my end in the District, but the thing is this: That we pay—I know he pays the District income tax in preference to the Massachusetts tax, but we pay the Massachusetts real estate taxes, and the poll taxes up there.
Mr. BATES. You, of course, claim a residence in Massachusetts.
Mr. Bates. How about your husband, is he domiciled there in Massachusetts ?
Mrs. WRIGHT. Oh, yes; that is his home; his folks settled there in 1629.
Mr. Bates. He pays an income tax in the District ?
Mr. BATEs. How does he get away from paying one in Massachusetts?
Mrs. WRIGUT. I think the law allows him to choose which place to pay-which place he prefers.
Mr. Bates. They have a reciprocal arrangement, of course, but that does not deny the right of the State of Massachusetts to collect an income tax.
Mrs. WRIGHT. Well, it is up to the State then if they want to collect it. He might want to pay them together, but he never told me about it. I do know he paid the District income tax.
Mr. Bytes. The reason I ask that is my special assistant is a consultant in Massachusetts to try to get new revenues, and if he can tax your husband, I think he ought to do it.
Mrs. Wriguit. Well, along that line, I want to say that we spend our summers there, and I am used to the tax on meals which goes to the oldage pension fund, and the Federation of Women's Clubs recommended that kind of a tax, but I would like to say that my organization has never made any criticism of the District government.
We feel that the District government oficials are friends and that the members of the House and Senate Committees of the District of Columbia are friends, and we have a very nice arrangement with them: always have been received and talked to, and I really am a little worried personally if we have a change in the government that I might be kicked around like I have been in the State House in Boston at times.
Senator Cain. I would like to hear your favorable comments to and about the Commissioners.
Mrs. WRIGHT. Thank you.
Senator Cain. This is an opportunity for citizens to be heard and they should either be in opposition or in support, and it is very gratifying to the gentlemen.
Mr. BATEs. Of course, that is music to the ears of the Commissioners, but it does not help us any in solving this problem.
Mrs. WRIGHT. Mr. Bates, I think it helps you this way. I think that you will understand that I have not been authorized to come down here by my organization and give the Commissioners a pat on the back, incidentally. I was sent down here to talk for the sales tax, but I feel that as a representative of our organization, I know how my organization feels, and we have never heard any criticism.
Mr. BATEs. You think the District Commissioners are doing a good job?
Mrs. Wright. I think they have always done a good job. I think when the Engineer Commissioner, Mr. Hazen, was sick, and Mr. Allen was running around the country having a good time and
Mr. Bates. Nothing of that kind is going on now. He was probably on a political mission, and that might have been allowable.
Mrs. Wright. I do not know; this is just my own opinion and not the opinion of my organization; but I feel, as a person whose folks helped—my great-grandfather sold the site of the Mayflower Hotel, and I have a personal interest in the District of Columbia, and I would just like to say there are 6,500 women who are all home owners, and they represent a cross section of Washington, and they never, so far as I know, have made any criticism of it.
Mr. Bates. Mr. Chairman, can we have somebody who is just as willing to tear the District Commissioners apart?
Senator Caix. Here is a gentleman.
STATEMENT OF JEROME B. McKEE, CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL TAX AND
LEGISLATION COMMITTEE, FEDERATION OF BUSINESS MEN'S ASSOCIATIONS, INC., WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. McKEE. My name is Jerome B. McKee, and I represent the Federation of Business Men's Associations, Inc.
I think that you are trying to get at something that does not exist in the District of Columbia.
Mr. BATES. What is that? Mr. MCKEE. That there is graft in the District government. Mr. Bates. No, I had not insinuated there was any graft. Senator Cain. We are trying to get at something with an open mind that will result in benefits to the District, of which all of us are part and parcel.
Mr. McKEE. I might say that when you criticize these bids, for instance, if you would take the bids on veterans hospitals, in the past 4 or 5 years, you will find they sent out bids for hospitals, and have not obtained one bid or else the bid was 50 percent higher than the amount set by Congress to build that hospital. The economic condi
tions for obtaining material and labor and guaranteeing that, and furnishing bond prohibited an individual from engaging in business or a corporation from engaging in business,
Senator Cain. Mr. McKee, I think I can speak for Mr. Bates and myself when I say that we are much happier actually to have you say what you do say than if you had said the reverse, but were there reason for you to say the reverse, it gives to Mr. Bates and myself an opportunity for helping with improvements. We are delighted, however, by the other approach that you see fit as a conviction to take. We think it is splendid.
Mr. McKec. Our association is composed of 28 organizations embracing 4,200 retail business.
First, I would like to preface my remarks by saying that neither I nor the members of the committee who have worked on this problem attempt to imply that we are economists. Even if we could qualify as such, we would recognize that economists disagree.
Aside from the committee, other members of the Federation of Business Men's Associations were consulted in our deliberations to ascertain properly the views of the members made up of various kinds of businesses. To this end we desired to ascertain how additional revenues could be obtained without disturbing business in general.
We recognized that the residual problem of the city is this: How can expanding services be maintained from which a large portion of the inhabitants have moved, but who still work and play in the area? How can municipal finances, subject to rigid controls, meet the climbing outgo? The services provided by the city in response to its growth remain, and are growing in response to demand and necessity.
Our city is not unlike other major cities; it also has tax-exempt property; and while the Nation-wide figures of tax-exempt property is given as $26,000,000,000, constituting 18 percent of the Nation's taxable property, we, as a city, enjoy the high average of 51 percent; thus, there is the almost desperate hunt for new sources of revenue.
St. Louis, for example, recently added an income tax, thus joining Philadelphia and Toledo in this projected avenue of income.
Philadelphia's tax of 1 percent without any exemptions aimed at recapturing that commuting population's income, applies to all income earned within the city, regardless of whether the recipient resides there, and to all residents who derive their income from businesses within or without the city.
The Philadelphia plan also embraces the field of professional musicians who, as individuals or through name bands, appear in that city for theaters, hotels, night clubs, and so forth.
The Shoreham Hotel here in Washington, we are informed, pays out approximately $50,000 a year for this type of entertainment.
Sewer rentals bring both Detroit and Cleveland in excess of $1,000,000 annually, with the tax spreading rather widely through the Nation. Garbage-collection fees are another source which produce varying amounts, depending upon the services and the rate.
But we in Washington do not want a conglomeration of taxes; we prefer a simpler, simplified tax.
We have not failed, however, to recognize that we have with us as citizens of the city people of low income, and many with no in. come, and the latter, to a certain extent, are responsible for the sum of $11,771,300 being inserted in this budget for public welfare. Yet